Shootout in Northridge leaves Idaho’s defense in tatters

3 Dec

Set loose in Southern California, Idaho’s shooters once again ran wild, putting nearly enough points up on the scoreboard to light the third digit.

But homestanding Cal State-Northridge was able to counter the Vandals shot-for-shot, and down the stretch found Kenny Daniels to have no equal in an Idaho uniform. With his 39 points powering the defending Big West champions, Idaho fell to the Matadors tonight, 95-93, in the Matadome.

Led by Kashif Watson’s 15-for-15 performance from the free-throw line, Idaho (4-2) pulled out a 14-point lead early in the second half, and seemed to be on its way to a clean sweep of three NCAA Tournament teams on the road.

But backed by Daniels’ astounding scoring, the Matadors (4-3) closed the gap and pulled away. The Vandals simply couldn’t find a matchup answer to the versatile big man, who shot 12-of-17 from the field and sank 13 of 15 from the charity stripe, while pulling down 10 rebounds.

“We just didn’t get it done, and that’s the bottom line,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “We didn’t get the stops we needed to in the second half of this ball game. We score 93 points and lose – that’s a tough one to swallow.”

With 15:43 left in the second half, the Vandals held a 63-49 lead, but from there on out it would be all Northridge. In the next 12 minutes, the Matadors would go on a 36-14 run to take the lead for good, fueled by the Vandals going 8-for-20 from the floor and coughing up the ball four times.

Verlin’s team never quit, and Idaho was able to close the gap in the last minute, making it a one-possession game several times. But the Matadors always found a way to pull it out, usually by just handing the ball to Daniels and letting him go to work.

With just 1.5 seconds on the clock, Luciano de Souza was fouled on a last-second 3-point attempt and nearly earned a chance for a game-tying four-point play. His shot bounced out and denied that opportunity. de Souza did get three trips to the line and sank two, but his intentional miss on the last attempt was rebounded by Northridge, ending the game.

The Vandals had been one of the WAC’s top defensive teams, holding opponents to just .389 shooting and .307 from beyond the arc. Northridge’s fast-paced offensive scheme seemed to find an answer — run the floor. The Matadors shot .525 from the floor and an astounding .600 from downtown, and Verlin said their success was fueled by a transition game the Vandals’ big men weren’t able to cope with. Forty-two of Northridge’s points were scored in the paint.

“It was a fast-paced, high-scoring affair, and I told the guys afterward, you can’t expect to win on the road if you give them 95 points,” Verlin said.

Five Vandals finished in double-digits, as befits the absurdly-high score, led by Watson’s 21 points. Mac Hopson had a strong game, scoring 19 points on 7-for-18 shooting, with 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Steffan Johnson added 16 more on 6-for-14 shooting, but went just 4-for-11 from downtown. The best shooting night for Idaho came from de Souza, who canned three 3-pointers on four attempts for 11 points, while Marvin Jefferson got in foul trouble early but still finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Big Jeff also tied his career high with 4 blocks on the night.

Idaho sent Northridge to the free-throw line 19 times in the final 20 minutes, resulting in 14 points for the home team. The five extra fouls committed by Idaho more than offset the Vandals’ 38-34 rebounding edge.

For once, the Vandals weren’t horrible with turnovers, but still gave it up three more times than the Matadors, 12-9. Of particular note was Idaho’s ineffectiveness at forcing turnovers — the Vandals got just three steals all night long.

For Verlin and his Vandals, the disappointment at squandering the victory was acute. It certainly wasn’t a disastrous loss, but no loss satisfies the second-year coach. Verlin was left to muse about what could have been.

“This would have been a good game to win,” Verlin said. “It was our third road game against an NCAA (Tournament) team and we could have beaten three NCAA teams from last year on the road in their buildings. That would have been a pretty good achievement for any team out there right now.”

The Vandals return home to Moscow for yet another tough test — nationally-ranked Portland. Idaho will face the #25 Pilots in Memorial Gym on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Official Basketball Box Score -- 2nd Half
Idaho vs Cal State Northridge
12/03/09 7:05 p.m. at Northridge, Calif. - The Matadome

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Idaho 4-2
TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 Toledo,Luiz......... f  0-1    0-0    1-2    2  2  4   1   1  1  3  0  0  13
53 Jefferson,Marvin.... c  4-6    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   3   8  0  0  2  0  10
01 Hopson,Mac.......... g  4-10   2-4    2-3    2  1  3   2  12  5  1  0  0  17
05 Johnson,Steffan..... g  1-7    1-6    0-0    0  1  1   0   3  2  0  0  1  16
32 Watson,Kashif....... g  1-1    0-0    4-4    0  0  0   1   6  2  2  0  0  16
02 Ledbetter,Jeff......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   3   0  0  0  0  0   4
03 Henderson,Shawn.....    1-2    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   0   2  0  0  0  0   4
11 Wiley,Brandon.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
13 De Souza,Luciano....    2-2    2-2    2-3    1  1  2   4   8  0  0  0  0   6
20 Lawrence,Marcus.....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   3
33 Barone,Kyle.........    2-2    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   2   4  0  0  0  0  10
TEAM................                         2     2
Totals..............   15-33   5-12   9-12   8 10 18  16  44 11  6  2  1 100

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-32 46.9%   2nd Half: 15-33 45.5%   Game: 46.2%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  6-13 46.2%   2nd Half:  5-12 41.7%   Game: 44.0%
F Throw % 1st Half: 13-15 86.7%   2nd Half:  9-12 75.0%   Game: 81.5%

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Cal State Northridge 4-3
TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Daniel, Lenny....... f  3-4    0-0    1-1    1  4  5   2   7  1  0  4  0  17
20 Daniels, Kenny...... f  6-9    1-1    5-7    2  3  5   3  18  0  1  0  0  18
42 Lizarraga, Michael.. c  1-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   0   2  0  1  0  0   2
03 Hill, Mark.......... g  0-3    0-0    2-2    0  0  0   1   2  2  1  1  0  13
21 Cody, Raymond....... g  0-1    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   1   2  3  0  0  1  11
02 Cordell, Vincent....    0-2    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
04 Menner, Kevin.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   0
10 Osunsanmi, Tony.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   0
11 McGhee, Vinnie......    3-4    3-3    0-0    0  0  0   0   9  0  0  0  0   7
13 Tripp, Darrell......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   0
14 Galick, Willie......    1-3    0-0    3-4    1  3  4   1   5  1  1  0  0  16
22 Taylor, Therin......    3-3    0-0    1-3    0  2  2   2   7  0  0  1  1  12
TEAM................
Totals..............   17-30   4-5   14-19   6 13 19  10  52  7  4  6  2 100

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-31 48.4%   2nd Half: 17-30 56.7%   Game: 52.5%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-5  40.0%   2nd Half:  4-5  80.0%   Game: 60.0%
F Throw % 1st Half: 11-13 84.6%   2nd Half: 14-19 73.7%   Game: 78.1%

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: David Hall, Bill Gracey, Ruben Ramos
Technical fouls: Idaho-None. Cal State Northridge-None.
Attendance: 1175
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Idaho.........................   49   44  -   93
Cal State Northridge..........   43   52  -   95

Points in the paint-UI 0,CSUN 0. Points off turnovers-UI 0,CSUN 0.
2nd chance points-UI 0,CSUN 0. Fast break points-UI 0,CSUN 0.
Bench points-UI 0,CSUN 0. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-UI 2nd-00:12, CSUN 2nd-01:41.
Largest lead-UI by 14 2nd-15:43, CSUN by 8 2nd-03:24.
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One Response to “Shootout in Northridge leaves Idaho’s defense in tatters”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Good Evening Vandal Nation: Dec. 4, 2009 « Vandal Nation - December 4, 2009

    […] in the second half against Cal State-Northridge, but blew it all down the stretch and fell, 95-93. We’ve got a game wrap and Don Verlin isn’t pleased. Gilberto Manzano of the Northridge Daily Sundial has a story from the Matador […]

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